Possession with Intent to Supply

If you’ve been accused of possession with intent to supply, our criminal defence solicitors are on hand to advise you, whether you have been arrested or are facing prosecution in the Magistrates or Crown Court.

Being found guilty of possession of drugs with intent to supply can result in serious consequences, including a lengthy prison sentence.

Understanding your legal rights is essential to ensure you get a fair investigation and trial. At Conspiracy Solicitor, we have extensive experience assisting individuals who have been accused of drug offences. It is understandable to feel stressed about what’s going to happen next. But with us by your side, you have the best possible chance of achieving a positive outcome, including possibly avoiding criminal charges altogether.

Have you been arrested or charged for possession with intent to supply?

For expert advice and police station representation, get in touch with our Conspiracy Solicitors today by giving us a call or filling in our contact form.

For immediate out-of-hours police station representation, please call 07711 627048.

How our drugs offences solicitors can help

At Conspiracy Solicitor, we can provide advice and support, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

We can provide immediate police station representation to assist you if you have been arrested. Our lawyers are qualified to represent you at the Magistrates Court and Crown Court, and we also enjoy close links with specialist criminal barristers’ chambers, allowing us to help you at every stage of the criminal justice system.

Our expertise ranges from the least serious allegations of supplying small amounts of drugs, to people accused of partaking in serious organised crime.

We are members of the Law Society Criminal Litigation Accreditation scheme for our skills in this area. We are also Lexcel Accredited for our high standards of client care and legal practice management. This means you can trust our advice to be reliable, our lawyers to be responsive and proactive, and our overall service to be rigorously efficient.

Police station representation

What happens at the police station will be critical to the success of your case. Making sure the criminal investigation ends here is the best possible result anyone accused of a drugs offence can aim for.

That’s why we’ve heavily invested in training our police station representatives to ensure they can provide the highest quality of advice available on the legal market.

You are entitled to free legal advice while at the police station, and we recommend that you do not answer police questions until we are by your side because the things you say could be used in a decision to charge you and as evidence during any criminal prosecution. Instead, ask the police to call us for legal advice, and we will come to assist you as soon as possible.

For more information, please visit our Police Station Representation Solicitors page.

Court representation

Facing court proceedings is a worrying prospect, but you can rely on us to make sure your case is presented in the best possible way. We will provide a thorough defence strategy designed to protect your legal rights and preserve your reputation.

Our specialist criminal defence lawyers have experience at both the Magistrates Court and the Crown Court. We also have close relationships with a number of criminal barristers who also have an excellent track record for achieving successful results in drug offence cases.

In many cases, we are able to achieve an acquittal for our client or the lesser charge of possession of drugs (without intent to supply).

Funding your possession with intent to supply defence

Police station representation

If you are arrested or invited for an interview under caution at the police station, you are entitled to free legal advice. Our qualified police station representatives are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to provide you with assistance.

So if you are worried about being arrested, or your loved one has been arrested, get in touch with our Police Station Representation Solicitors today.

Legal aid

Depending on your individual circumstances, you could get some or all of your defence funded by legal aid.

Legal aid is means tested, so the help you can get will depend on your financial situation. In some cases, you may be required to contribute your disposable income towards legal fees. This means that legal aid can sometimes be more expensive than privately funding your case. However, we can provide further advice on how exactly legal aid will work for you.

For more information, visit our Funding your Case page.

Private funding

We will happily accept all clients who wish to pay privately for their legal representation. We aim to keep our fees proportionate and manageable, so, despite our expertise, we are more affordable than many criminal defence firms.

We primarily use hourly rates to estimate how much your legal fees will cost. However, we are equally happy to discuss a quotation for fixed fees, depending on the circumstances of your case.

For more information, visit our Funding your Case page.

Transferring your case to Conspiracy Solicitor

It’s important to have absolute faith in your criminal defence team. That’s why we’ll happily accept clients who have previously instructed another firm but are dissatisfied with the quality of advice and client care.

How easy it is to transfer will depend on how you are funding your case and the stage you are at in the criminal justice system (for example, whether you have already obtained a Representation Order for legal aid).

For more information, see our guide on transferring your case to Conspiracy Solicitor.

Common questions about possession with intent to supply

What does possession with intent to supply mean?

It is always against the law to have a controlled drug in your possession. However, intent to supply turns possession into a serious criminal drugs offence.

Possession with intent to supply (sometimes referred to as pwits) is the criminal offence of holding controlled drugs to pass to another person. It doesn’t matter whether it’s for profit. Therefore, you could be accused of possession with intent to supply just by giving drugs to a friend.

To successfully obtain a conviction for possession with intent to supply, the prosecution needs to prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  • You were in possession of drugs
  • The drugs were controlled drugs
  • You intended to supply the drugs to someone else

Our goal will be to spot errors and weaknesses in the evidence the prosecution is relying on to try to prove you committed the crime.

What is a controlled drug?

A controlled drug is one that is illegal to produce, use or supply under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001.

You can find a non-exhaustive list of controlled drugs on the Government website. Common examples include cannabis, cannabis oil, cocaine, heroin, ketamine, and methadone.

What does intent to supply mean?

To prove intent to supply, the prosecution does not need to prove that you physically gave a controlled drug to someone else or that you received any financial gain.

For this reason, the prosecution often relies on circumstantial evidence or statements the defendant makes. For example, saying “I was looking after this for a friend” could implicate you.

During the criminal investigation, the prosecuting authority will attempt to find all kinds of evidence. They may search your belongings, your home, even your mobile phone for evidence such as:

  • Lists of names and money owed
  • Drugs paraphernalia, including things like bags to package drugs
  • Emails, telephone records and text messages
  • CCTV footage
  • Unexplained income

Part of our job will be to make sure all the evidence is shared with us so we can start building you a strong defence strategy. We will also make sure that your legal rights are respected throughout the process, for example, that your mobile phone, belongings, and/or home were searched lawfully.

How much drugs is ‘intent to supply’?

There is no legal minimum on how much drugs it takes to amount to the offence. If you were in possession of a controlled drug and the prosecution proves beyond reasonable doubt that you intended to supply it to someone else, you could be convicted of an offence.

However, if you were found to have a very small amount of a certain drug, it may be easier to argue that it is for personal consumption and that you did not intend to supply it. The penalties for possession are much more lenient than the serious offence of possession with intent to supply.

What are the police’s powers to stop and search?

The police can stop you and ask you questions at any time. Usually, you don’t have to answer their questions. The police can only search you if they have reasonable grounds to suspect you are involved in a crime or are carrying something illegal, such as drugs.

Before they search you, the police officer should tell you:

  • Their name
  • Their police station
  • What they suspect you are carrying
  • Their reason to suspect you are carrying illegal drugs
  • That you are entitled to receive a copy of the search record

Typically, the smell of cannabis alone is not a sufficient reason to search you.

When searching you in public, the police can only require you to remove the outer layer of clothing such as your coat or gloves. They can also put their hands in your shoes, socks or headgear. They will ask you to turn out your pockets.

If the police want you to remove more items of clothing, such as your jumper, this can only happen out of the public view (such as in a police van). They cannot ask to strip search you unless at a police station or a designated police area (such as a tent). They will also need to provide further reasons to carry out a more thorough search. Their reason cannot be that they haven’t found anything yet.

Can the police search my home?

Usually, the police have to obtain a court warrant to search your home (unless you give them consent) and should only take objects that are covered by the warrant. The police can enter a home without a warrant in certain circumstances, such as if they are chasing someone they believe has committed a criminal offence.

Can the police search my car?

The police can search your car if they suspect it contains illegal drugs, even if it is left unattended. If you were not near the car at the time of the search, they must leave a note saying it was searched.

Can the police search my phone and social media accounts for evidence?

The police’s powers to search your phone and social media accounts vary depending on whether you have been arrested or if you have just been stopped on the street. 

How do you prove possession with intent to supply?

The prosecution only needs to prove that there was an intention to pass control of drugs onto another person. They do not need evidence that you physically did.

When the prosecution collects evidence, it will likely be gathered through any statements at the time of arrest and any circumstantial evidence, which is likely to be obtained through evidence searches, such as your property. Common types of evidence used for possession with intent to supply criminal court proceedings include:

  • The controlled substances
  • Drug paraphernalia, e.g. scales, needles, cutting agents, etc.
  • Significant amounts of cash
  • Phone calls and texts records
  • Contact details of buyers
  • CCTV evidence
  • Witnesses
  • Evidence of luxury lifestyle, e.g. designer clothes, expensive car, etc.

Are there any defences for possession with intent to supply?

There are a number of defence strategies we can use, including:

  • That you did not have the intent to supply
  • Under Section 28 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, it is a defence if:
    • You did not know, nor suspect, nor have reason to suspect the existence of some fact used by the prosecution to gain a conviction. For example, you did not know you were in possession of the drug
    • You didn’t believe, suspect, or have reason to suspect that the drug was a controlled drug
    • You believed the drug was a controlled drug that you were allowed to possess, but it was actually a controlled drug that you were not allowed to possess

Do I need a solicitor at the police station?

Yes. What happens at the police station is arguably the most important stage in any criminal investigation. The police will interview you under caution, which means anything you say can be used as evidence in your case. This includes if you have been invited to the police station for a voluntary interview.

You are entitled to free legal advice while at the police station. Our criminal defence team includes lawyers who are fully qualified in police station representation. We are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to assist you at police stations across the country.

Can I go to prison for possession with intent to supply?

If you are convicted of possession with intent to supply, you could go to prison for many years. The maximum sentence you receive will depend on the type of drug:

  • Possession with intent to supply class A – up to life in prison, an unlimited fine, or both
  • Possession with intent to supply class B and class C – up to 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine, or both

If you have previously been convicted and served prison time for possession with intent to supply, the minimum sentence you will receive is 7 years.

When sentencing, the judge will take into account various factors, such as the amount of drugs in your possession, whether you made any financial gain and whether you already have a criminal record. We can also make representations arguing against a longer sentence on your behalf.

Can you get a suspended sentence for possession with intent to supply?

Possession with intent to supply can frequently lead to a prison sentence if proven guilty, but yes, it is possible to receive a suspended sentence in some circumstances.

There are many different levels and circumstances in relation to possession with an intent to supply. Where drugs are Class A, the defendant will receive a different penalty range than if it was Class C drugs. Furthermore, a larger scale of pwits is different from the defendant supplying to only a friend. For Class C drugs, the penalty can range from a fine to 8 years’ custody, but it is possible to instead receive a suspended prison sentence.

Have you been arrested or charged for possession with intent to supply?

For expert advice and police station representation, get in touch with our Conspiracy Solicitors today by giving us a call or filling in our contact form.